Off The Shelf

Library and academic support for students

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Off The Shelf

Mark Luetkehoelter, Librarian

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A community college study conducted in 2018 entitled “Student Needs are Academic Needs” surveyed over 10,000 students across seven community colleges spread across the country to assess the value and demand for needed services.

Among the key insights from that study was that students are trying to balance academic needs with course expenses, and that they want greater access to technology like laptops, Wi-Fi hotspots, printers, and more. Another key insight from the study was that libraries, tutoring services, and writing centers were highly valued by students in addressing unmet needs.

The Madison College Libraries and Student Achievement Centers address the study’s expressed needs by providing access to laptops, Chromebooks, Wi-Fi hotspots, printers, scanners, multimedia equipment, and more. Go to https://libguides.madisoncollege.edu/technology/equipment to see a list of equipment we provide. We also have a lot of librarians, peer tutors, faculty tutors, and writing center staff to help you.

Also, a recent article in the October 2019 issue of The Atlantic by Alia Wong entitled “College Students Just Want Normal Libraries” argued that even while colleges have been on a mission to reinvent their libraries to make them more attractive to the student body, a majority of students still generally appreciate academic libraries for their more traditional offerings. Many just want  a quiet place to study or collaborate on a project, the ability to write and print research papers, help in-person from a librarian to research and find material, and access to books. 

While the Madison College Libraries and Student Achievement Centers hope that they have kept up with the times by offering more services and features, as well as the latest tech equipment, we have not forgotten those old-fashioned aspects of what students want from libraries or study centers. We strive to keep some spaces for those who covet a quiet environment, and we provide personal help on research needs. Plus, we still offer access to print books through our own collection and through interlibrary loan.

What do you think an academic library or student achievement center should be? We’d love to hear your thoughts, and you can use our online suggestion form at https://libguides.madisoncollege.edu/suggestions  to do so.

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